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Restaurant for family reunion party

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Austin, Texas
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Restaurant for family reunion party

About 20 of us will be converging on Little Rock in August to celebrate my parents' 60th wedding anniversary. The age range will be 7 to 86, although the preponderance will be young adults and adults. My parents have indicated that they would like to go out to dinner for the occasion.

Can anyone recommend a local (non-chain) restaurant which accepts reservations and can accomodate food tastes ranging from basic to sophisticated?

Brave New Restaurant sounds wonderful, but I wonder if it would be able to cater to the few young children in our party. My parents have always been fond of Ciao's downtown, although I don't think the food there is particularly good. Someone suggested Ciao Baci in Hillcrest as a possibility.

Of course, I'll be grateful for any and all suggestions. The choice should have good food and service, some possibility of basic selections for young children, not be excessively noisy and be readily accessible from the parking lot, as my parents no longer walk very well. I realize we may not be able to meet all of those requirements, so I listed them in order of preference.

Many thanks!

little rock arkansas
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1. Re: Restaurant for family reunion party

Don't discount Brave's for kids. My daughter is 10 and has been going there for many years and likes it. It's very kid-friendly. Peter Brave has little kids and take special interest in them. He has taken my little girl back in the kitchen and opened up the refrigerator and pulled out fruit and other things which appealed to her. Ask for Peter if you make it there and see if he will show them around. There is a bar where kids can sit and watch the kitchen action and outdoor dining where they can watch the river view. They will fix about anything for kids...special pastas etc. However, the trek to the restaurant does require some walking. It is an odd location. You have to let the infirm out of the car near the entrance to the elevator then they go up to the second floor and walk down a corridor. You might also consider 1620. Your parents would like it and they will alter dishes to suit kids. Many people seem to like NU but I have not taken my kid there and don't know how accomodating they would be. Trio's is good and the adults should enjoy it but their kitchen is often reluctant to alter their menu items and they are not particularly kid friendly. Bruno's might be a possibility, for locally owned ok Italian. But like my wife and I on special occasions...we go through all the possibilites and often end up at Brave's and are never disappointed..

arkansas
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2. Re: Restaurant for family reunion party

I agree with Brave New Restaurant, too. Peter's always very accommodating about special requests, and his food is top-notch. The setting is wonderful, too (overlooking the river), but August will be WAY to hot for outside seating. It's possible they'd rent their entire party room for your group; I don't know what the minimum number requirement is for that.

Normally Brave New doesn't take reservations, but with a party of 20, I don't think you'll have trouble making reservations in most places that usually don't accept them.

I'm not crazy about Ciao Bacci's food and don't think it'd be a particularly good venue for your group. The last time we were there, it was incredibly smokey (not sure what they're doing about that since we've passed non-smoking laws) and loud, and it's never seemed very child-friendly.

We didn't ask you if you had specific prices in mind: Brave New Restaurant in the higher range.

arkansas
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3. Re: Restaurant for family reunion party

Since your parents enjoy Ciao, there's another option I've just thought of - Graffitis is a small Italian restaurant on Cantrell that also has a party room that you might be able to reserve for your group. It's very easily accessible (only steps away) and the food is good and varied. In my opinion, not as good as Brave New, but good nonetheless.

Little Rock...
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4. Re: Restaurant for family reunion party

Last Thursday, June 15th, I hosted a dinner for 19 people at Acadia. The service and food was excellent. As for your other requirements:

I've seen children in the restaurant on several occasions so can't imagine that feeding them would be a problem. Acadia has a private room suitable for 20 to 25 persons. It's separated from the main dining room and is not noisy. The elevator to the second floor is adjacent to the parking lot so not much walking is required.

Austin, Texas
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5. Re: Restaurant for family reunion party

Many thanks, susancs and jimjade3, for your excellent advice. I will definitely contact Brave and Graffiti's and see what I can arrange.

Although I haven't lived in the state for over 30 years, there is still nothing like Arkansas hospitality and helpfulness. Thank you!

Austin, Texas
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6. Re: Restaurant for family reunion party

Thanks also, oldcpa, for the suggestion of Acadia. I will definitely check it out as well.

Nashville, Tennessee
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7. Re: Restaurant for family reunion party

I love TA forums. This string is a little old but it is almost EXACTLY what I would like to ask people as well.

I am having a dinner party for about 20 of my family members for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary at the end of this month and I am looking for a moderately priced restaurant that can cater to adults and kids. Would love a semi-private room and a place that takes reservations. Seems like a lot of moderately priced places don't want to do that on a weekend night.

Are these recommendations still the way to go?

Any updates on this string would be greatly appreciated.

little rock arkansas
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8. Re: Restaurant for family reunion party

Many of the above mentioned restaurants would really not classify as 'moderate' priced. Most are at the upper end of our budget and of the Little Rock market. My daughter suggests Lilly's Dimsome Thensome. It's moderate priced, locally owned and has a nice private room. If the anniversary couple likes Asian food, this could be a possibility.

Nashville, Tennessee
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9. Re: Restaurant for family reunion party

Thanks for the update

Little Rock, AR
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10. Re: Restaurant for family reunion party

kschen, Is there a particular type of food your parents like (or that you're looking for)? That might help generate a few more suggestions.

I recently attended a retirement lunch at Copelands (which is "New Orleans-style food") and we were able to reserve a private room for $25.00. We ordered off the menu for our lunches and the group ordered a cake for the dessert. The arrangements for the private room and dessert were all made a few weeks in advance. It worked out very well.

I've been to Does Eat Place several times for small gatherings (group of about 16). They have a private room behind the kitchen and another room beside the main dining area. They will put tables together in that 2nd room for a group, but if your group were large enough, I'd think you could use the whole space. There's never been a charge for either room--we just had to call a few weeks in advance to book the room. We've always ordered off the menu for these lunches at Does--great burgers!

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